The Internet provides numerous ways for users to share information in ways that are not possible with other communication channels. Social media, for example, can easily spread your brand’s message, as long as you’re targeting the right customers. The Internet also serves as a vast repository of vital information – accessible by anyone, anytime, and anywhere. It only takes a single search for a prospect to find hundreds of opinions about your company.
The immediacy of the Internet also gives way to an increase in customer referrals and viral campaigns. Below you’ll find some reasons why it’s crucial for your business to take advantage of the explosive growth of referral marketing.
Customer referrals are inexpensive to deploy
Referral marketing is the only type of marketing where much of the heavy lifting is left to consumers. This doesn’t mean that you should take a passive approach and leave it up to consumers to spread the word about your business. Referrals don’t happen by chance. Take a proactive approach and implement a customer referral program, and you’ll see an increase in the number, quality, and consistency of referrals you receive.
Once your system is implemented, you can leave it up to your customers to communicate information about your product and brand to others – under your watchful eyes of course. Even with your initial investment to put a system in place, customer referrals are cheaper than most other forms of marketing because communication costs are “subsidized.”
Customer referrals give strength to your other marketing efforts
Customer referrals generate after-effects that can bolster your marketing programs. Generally, viral campaigns can significantly extend your reach while reinforcing your message to your target audience. For instance, if you create a viral ad, it will be shared and talked about on thousands of blogs, forums, and social media. Your loyal fans will not only share your ad, but will also include their experiences of doing business with you. This will generate more visibility and new leads for your business.
Customer referrals can go places your ads can’t
Consumers today have unprecedented control over the media and content they’re exposed to. From the ubiquitous smartphone, to digital video recorders and blogs, consumers are accessing information when they want it. There’s a growing community of “content creators” online who contribute to the Internet via blogs, product reviews, recommendations, video channels, and podcasts. These people are authorities in their own right, and your target audience trusts them once they make a recommendation.
The effect of one positive blog post from a well-trafficked blog could have more of an impact than an ad played a hundred times on television. People buy from people, and if you want to bolster the trust factor of your brand, nothing beats word of mouth.
When it comes to selling your brand to your target audience, there’s nothing more compelling than a recommendation from your customers. No website copy or multimedia ad is as effective as customer referrals. Embrace this form of marketing and see what a difference it makes to your business.
Jack Bishop works hard for small business marketing. He often writes about effective marketing strategies using modern tools on small business and entrepreneurship blogs.